Has Apple officially jumped the shark? That’s the question I’m asking this morning after reading that Apple CEO Tim Cook posted an open letter on Apple’s website apologizing for Maps, which by all accounts has been absolutely, incredibly horrendous.
With Cook’s apology letter, Apple has done something no one would have ever thought possible – they admitted that one of their products is actually subpar. This is coming from a company whose top guy once stated that his biggest problem with Microsoft is that they “make third rate products”. And did you forget when that same gentleman said that “Netbooks aren’t good for anything” at the iPad launch? (which, by the way, is 100% true) And finally, what about the famous story about how that same former Apple CEO berated developers of MobileMe, the since-discontinued collection of cloud services now rolled into iCloud:
In Fortune’s story, Lashinsky says Steve Jobs summoned the entire MobileMe team for a meeting at the company’s on-campus Town Hall, accusing everyone of “tarnishing Apple’s reputation.” He told the members of the team they “should hate each other for having let each other down”, and went on to name new executives on the spot to run the MobileMe team. A few excerpts from the article.
“Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?” Having received a satisfactory answer, he continues, “So why the f*** doesn’t it do that?”
When I read the open letter from Tim Cook this morning, all I could do is shake my head and think aloud, “If Steve Jobs were alive, there is no way an app as poor as Maps would have been released in the first place”. I mean, come on, Tim Cook is recommending that you try alternative apps, for f*** sakes! Are you serious?! Steve Jobs believed that Apple made the best products in the world for literally every need. Hell, if someone invented a loofah case for the iPhone, Jobs would have said it makes the iPhone the best body scrubber in the history of the world!
And yet not even one year since Jobs’s death, we’re basically getting told “we’re sorry Maps sucks so bad, here try some other apps while we figure things out. We promise we’ll make it better. And, oh yeah, btw, over 100 million people are still using sucky Maps anyway, so Apple actually is still amazing. Screw all the haters. kthxbye.”
If zombie Steve Jobs were to appear back on Earth this very afternoon, I have to believe he would fire Tim Cook, his former right hand man, immediately. There is no way in hell that if Jobs were still running Apple that Maps would have even made it to iOS 6. Jobs detests Google and Android (and who can blame him, they’re his biggest competitor), and yet with Maps sucking this bad it’s basically free advertising for Google.
As recent as last week some analysts were calling for Apple’s share price to be $1500 by 2015. If Apple keeps releasing products so bad that their CEO has to apologize for them, Apple’s stock price may very well be lower than its current $670 value.